Bite-Sized: Little Valentines and Sugar Cookies

Bite-Sized: Little Valentines and Sugar Cookies

Sometimes you know that a project you do with children is successful because they ask to do it again and again. This project began as a way for the children to give out Valentines, but was revisted with other themes time and again. It was coming on Valentine’s Day. I just couldn’t see buying those tired cards that are half cut for children to punch out of their perforations. Drawing and creating your own special cards – before computers had reached the current level – was a coloring and drawing project. If you wanted to give every child a Valentine, it was going to be tedious.

So we decided to bake Valentine’s Day hearts. Continue reading

Cooking with Children: Making Gingerbread Houses

Making gingerbread houses is a glorious thing to do during the holidays. And the idea of doing it with children is also very appealing. The big problem with actually making a gingerbread house with children and dreaming about making a gingerbread house with children is that actually making a gingerbread house with children can be frustrating, as well as result in a house that looks like children made it. We should admit that unless children just watch you make the house, it will very likely not be very decorative. Continue reading

Bite-Sized: How and Why to Teach Kids Table Manners

Bite-Sized: How and Why to Teach Kids Table Manners

When I think about the idea of civilizing children, I shudder at the enormity of the task. But when I was the mother of small children, I could not see it as a part of the larger societal requirement, but only as taming the wild in the everyday life of our family. One of the ways to accomplish this is to assume that the children want to be civilized. In my experience they really do. Continue reading

Cooking with Kids: Too Many Lemons and Cans

It seems that we are always trying to find projects that we do with our children, but if we can just include them in our regular activities, we can often play Tom Sawyer painting the fence. We can make our everyday activities fun instead of a chore. We had a very prolific lemon tree. Although we used lemons for salad dressings, in cooking, in lemonade, it seemed that we had a million lemons. I knew that if we did not pick them all and save them, we would start to lose them. My two boys had their friends over all the time, so I organized them into two teams. They had to pick all of the lemons – carefully to avoid the thorns – and the team that won, would get to drink their lemonade before the other team. In short order we had picked all of the lemons. Continue reading

Say Cheese! Cooking Pizza with Kids

Say Cheese! Cooking Pizza with Kids

One of my favorite things to make with my kids was pizza. Actually my favorite thing was dough, but then we would turn it into pizza. We had so much fun mixing and kneading the dough. Watching it rise was an easy way to do something fun and it is foolproof. We split the dough up among all of us to knead, the perfect size for little hands. Sometimes we would leave the dough separated for individual pizzas and sometimes we would recombine it for one large pizza. We would even try to throw the dough. But regardless, it was a way to create a successful meal. Continue reading